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Motorways: Walls and Fences

Volume 461: debated on Monday 11 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) estimate he has made of the cost and (b) assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (i) galvanised metal central reservation barriers and (ii) concrete barriers made of concrete in use on motorways; and if he will make a statement. (141349)

The Highways Agency commissioned TRL (formerly the Transport Research Laboratory) in 2004 to examine the cost effectiveness and performance of central reservation barriers installed on major roads in Great Britain.

Typical installation costs for a metre of Double Sided Tensioned Corrugated Beam barrier (galvanised metal) and Vertical Concrete Barrier were £33 and £155 respectively. Over a 50 year period the whole life costs of concrete barriers were estimated to be about 15 per cent. to 20 per cent. lower than metal barriers.

The accident statistics examined in the study showed that the number of serious casualties per kilometre is comparable between metal and concrete barriers, but there was a lower rate of slight casualties and accidents where concrete barriers were installed. No fatal casualties have resulted from an impact with a concrete barrier.